Road project aiming to ease east-west travel faces opposition

A road project in Montgomery County Precinct 2 aims to add an east-west thoroughfare to alleviate congestion on FM 1488. However, some residents and officials in The Woodlands said the project is merely the Woodlands Parkway expansion they have already expressed opposition to, under another name.

The new road would extend Woodtrace Boulevard from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978. Traffic volume on FM 1488 is expected to increase, with more than 5,000 new homes planned or under construction for the area, according to the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District, which will fund the first portion of the road from FM 2978 to Dobbin-Huffsmith Road.

The cost for construction of the 3-mile extension is expected to be about $8 million and it will take two years, according to WMPID, which also said developers may partner on funding the project.

Right of way clearing has begun, and the county is handling construction plans and engineering, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said.

“It will get people off of a lot of these little roads around here, which will help the movement of traffic tremendously,” he said.

However, officials in The Woodlands, who previously opposed extending Woodlands Parkway to achieve similar ends, voiced concerns about the project.

“The renaming of The Woodlands Parkway extension to Woodtrace and shifting its connection to FM 2978 a quarter-mile south of Woodlands Parkway does not materially change the project,” board of directors Chair Gordy Bunch wrote in an email.

The Woodlands resident Alex Fremuth wrote in an email he is also concerned about the project and hopes that a resolution can be established between the parties.

“Moving the new road a quarter-mile south will create a bottleneck on FM 2978 between the end of Woodland Parkway and the beginning of the Woodtrace Boulevard,” he said. “If Woodlands Parkway could be extended to end on Woodtrace [Boulevard] maybe one half-mile west of FM 2978, it may avoid creating this bottleneck and at the same time create a desirable area for new shopping and other infrastructure.”

Anna Lotz contributed to this report.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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